It’s been a long and winding road for Borussia Dortmund head coach Edin Terzić to get to this point. From BVB assistant, to caretaker manager, to technical director, and finally to his current gig as permanent head coach — Terzić has long bled Black and Yellow, and now he’s the man in charge of trying to knock Bayern Munich off their perch. In today’s Der Klassiker, he’ll have his shot to do just that.
But it won’t be easy.
“We will not only need a good and disciplined tactical performance; we will need courage too,” Terzić said prior to the game for club media, as captured by @iMiaSanMia. “Courage to keep the ball, courage in one-on-ones and to get shots away. You need that not only against Bayern, but especially against Bayern.”
Terzić well knows the Bavarian strength and mentality, but this year’s Der Klassiker will take on a different flavor. For the first time in a long, long time, there won’t be Robert Lewandowski on either side of the pitch. And for his own Dortmund team, there won’t be an answer on their sideline in Erling Haaland, either. The two superstar strikers are off to pastures new, at FC Barcelona and Manchester City, respectively.
But while the transfer window has remade both teams, causing turbulence along the way, each find themselves recently rounding into form. Bayern have scored nine goals in their last two games, while Dortmund celebrated a fine 4-1 Champions League smashing of Sevilla this Wednesday.
“We need to be efficient,” Terzić emphasized. “One statistic is that Bayern Munich is number one in terms of expected goals and we are number two — but we’re still worlds apart in terms of goals scored.”
Indeed, in the Bundesliga, Bayern have a 23-6 scoring advantage through eight matchdays, tops in the league in both categories — while Dortmund are a far more pedestrian 11-10. Eight teams have bettered Dortmund’s goal tally. If Bayern have issues finishing, their rivals are doing them one better on the crisis front!
At least this game will be held in Dortmund — a small measure of solace for Terzić, who called on his home crowd to push his team on to an advantage.
“Of course there will be phases in our game tomorrow that won’t be easy for us as a team,” he said. “We will then need the energy that the fans can give us. But equally, it is our responsibility to show our opponents from the beginning that we want to leave the pitch as winners.”
A battle of mentality — a test of ruthlessness — a battle to regain their spots at the top of the table. The stage is set for a Der Klassiker with titanic stakes.